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Anxious wisdom: Chad VanGaalen’s latest album focuses on ‘not feeling comfortable’

Chad VanGaalen has been sitting through long drives recently.

The Canadian musician embarked on his current tour nearly two months ago.

Although he doesn’t tour often, he’s enjoying the outing.

But today, he’s at home working on music.

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“I’m pretty meticulous,” he says of his music. “My kids are everywhere around my stuff. They are pretty respectful. I feel the way I run my studio is pretty thrash-proof.”

VanGaalen has released seven full-length albums and four EPs since 2004. His latest is “Light Information,” released in September.

VanGaalen says the theme of the album is “not feeling comfortable with really anything.”

And it’s a departure from his days scoring TV shows and designing puppet characters for Adult Swim.

Although alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, “Light Information” draws on a new kind of wisdom – and anxiety – gained as he watches his kids growing up.

“Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.”

For the album, VanGaalen, again, did it all.

He wrote, played and produced the music on the album, except for help from bassist Ryan Bourne on one track and some vocals from his daughters, Ezzy and Pip, on another track.

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Some of the music for the album took him about six years to complete and was quite a process.

He struggles to strike a balance between his work and professional life.

“I’m just trying to get over the weight of feeling like I have to be making something of my time constantly,” he says. “Especially with kids, you get these small breaks where you get to make stuff, and now I try to say, ‘You know what? I’m going to make something for me.’ ”

This is also the reason he doesn’t tour very often.

“I don’t tour (a lot) because I have a beautiful family,” he says. “It sucks and a lot of things change when I’m on tour. I feel kind of weird to come back home. I feel alienated because I’ve missed a piece of their life.”


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